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The Battle Belongs to the Lord: The Power of Scripture for Defending Our Faith Paperback – November 21, 2003
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"Scott Oliphint rightly emphasizes that the Christian can never put the Bible aside, for Scriptures sets the standards for everything we do, including apologetics. He analyzes some of the most important Bible passages for apologetics and points us to many more. Clear and non-technical, this is a helpful addition to the literature of presuppositional apologetics." --John M. Frame
"Most of us who want to be faithful witnesses know we needbut often lackthree things: a clear understanding of the truth, the ability to express our message persuasively, and confidence that the gospel has nothing to fear in the intellectual market place. As a skilled seminary professor who has also served in the trenches of pastoral and evangelistic ministry, Dr. Oliphint is well qualified to give us just the help we need." --Sinclair B. Ferguson
"An excellent primer on apologetics. Unlike others writing in this area, Oliphint underscores how Gods revelation is at the heart of apologetics. He demonstrates how we are to use reason, logic, and persuasion in reliance on the Word and Spirit. Defending the Christian faith is not something that only a privileged few can do. Readers will reap much benefit from this extremely readable book." --Charles Dunahoo
About the Author
K. Scott Oliphint (M.A.R., Th.M., Ph.D., Westminster Theological Seminary) is associate professor of apologetics at Westminster Seminary, Philadelphia. He has written numerous articles on apologetics and is coauthor of If I Should Die Before I Wake: Help for Those Who Hope for Heaven.
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After a general encouragement to apologetics based on I Peter 3:15, Oliphint turns to the story of David and Goliath (I Samuel 17) as an analogy for the role of the believer. He takes the title and theme of his book from verse 47, "that all this assembly may know that the LORD saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the LORD's, and he will give you into our hand." He argues that it isn't the responsibility of the apologist to persuade his target, or to win the argument, but rather to speak the truth, though as persuasively as possible. The results are in God's hands, not ours.
Oliphint refers to Romans 1:16-18, explaining Paul's statement that the unbeliever isn't ignorant of the truth, but rather suppresses it. However, God is active in His Word (Isaiah 55:11 and II Timothy 3:16), and breaks through the resistance of the elect. It is the Holy Spirit, not the believer, Who works to convince the unbeliever of his error (John 6:63).
This book is eminently understandable, accessible to virtually any experienced Christian. It puts apologetics into the hands of those without seminary educations or specialized training.
K.Scott Oliphant sees this as a problem with devastating effects. Not the least of these being, a minimization of Scripture in apologetics.
Oliphant then writes The Battle Belongs to the LORD to remind us of the nature of apologetics, the tools, the combatants, and the goals. He writes, "The purpose of this book is to get us to open our Bibles again when we think about apologetics."
The book is intended to be an introduction into apologetics. And if you are looking for such an introduction you will not be intimidated in reading this book. Oliphant is quick to explain and apply while writing in a style that is engaging while moving through his topics fairly speedily.
As promised, the book is filled with Scripture. The chapters are each set around various parts of the Scripture that emphasize the priority of defending the Scriptures (ie 1 Peter, Jude, 2 Corinthians, & Acts 17). This is very helpful in that it helps you to see the connection of apologetics to Scripture as well as the age old priority of defending the faith.
In addition to teaching us Oliphant does a good job writing in a pastorally encouraging way. He helps to engender more confidence in the Bible and a burden to proclaim it. This is always needed in the church.
The book is not a manual of `how to do apologetics in the 21st Century' however, it is a book that shows it's priority and provides a framework for understanding the goal of apologetics and the means of getting there.
Remember that it is an introduction (a much needed introduction) to the priority of biblical apologetics.
The book is written with small group discussions in mind. Each of the chapters have review questions to help facilitate discussion.